Successful UbuntuNet-Connect 2017 conference
UbuntuNet-Connect is the annual conference of the UbuntuNet Alliance that focuses on research and education networking activities in Southern and East Africa. It is organised by the UbuntuNet Alliance and was this year hosted by EthERNet, the NREN in Ethiopia.
The conference brings together practitioners in the research and education networking community, researchers, policy makers, academics, connectivity providers, and a pool of expertise from across Africa and beyond. This year’s edition was held in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia on 2 and 3 November 2017 and was preceded by workshops and technical training programmes: a services deployment clinic, a workshop on advanced routing and BGP for NRENs, as well as a workshop towards an African open science infrastructure framework.
The first day of the conference was kicked-off by Dr. Hadama Quedraogo, the Acting Director of the Commission for Human Resources, Science and Technology of the African Union delivered on behalf of the African Union Commissioner for Human Resources, Science and Technology, Prof. Sarah Anyang Agbor. He started his welcoming speech by informing all attendees that the importance of ICT and innovation in the African region cannot be overemphasised. However, as Dr. Quedraogo continues, despite the enormous progress in the ICT sector in other parts of the world, he emphasises that it is not all rosy for Africa. He acknowledged that:
“the main reason the African continent is lagging behind in terms of ICT development and uptake is the huge costs associated with the accessibility of ICT tools and services including connectivity to the internet.”
These huge financial costs therefore have a heavy impact not only on African students, researchers and engineers, but on African society as a whole, which would otherwise benefit from a faster pace of innovation. Additionally, Dr. Quedraogo stated that the high costs of connectivity hamper international collaboration between counterparts from within the region and beyond. Continuing his energetic speech, the Acting Director showed his gratitude for the work of the UbuntuNet Alliance especially on how the organisation achieved progress for itself and its members.
“Apart from price changes, I am also happy to learn of other important services the Alliance is offering to its members including engineer capacity building programmes and other value-added services.”
Towards the end of his speech, Dr. Quedraogo highlighted the AUC’s Agenda 2063 which seeks to accelerate the implementation of past and existing continental initiatives for growth and sustainable economic development, on the basis of exploitation of Science and Technology.
See the full article
Read the full article, including two interviews with local workshop attendees, in CONNECT #27. Download the pdf here or view an online version.